• Does Yoga Help Build Strength?

    If you think yoga is all about stretching, you’re wrong. Yoga postures require a balance of strength and flexibility. Many poses use the combination of body weight and moving your muscles differently than you’re accustomed to strengthen your muscle fibers.

    Yoga won’t bulk you up like weightlifting, but it will make you stronger and give your muscles a toned appearance. 

    In a study performed in China, a group of adults practiced hatha yoga for 12 weeks to see how it affected their health. At the end of the 12-week period, both genders saw improvements in upper and lower body strength. 

    Yoga postures build the large muscle groups people tend to focus on in the gym. They also strengthen smaller, often ignored muscle groups that fine-tune your balance and posture. For example, balancing poses like tree pose and halfmoon strengthen your ankles. Arm balances make stronger wrists, arms, shoulders, and core.

    Yoga is a fantastic solution for anyone who wants to build overall strength.

    You don’t need fancy equipment to start and can practice in your own home. 

    Which type of yoga is best for strength training?

    Most types of yoga build strength, but some are better than others. If you want to get stronger, you should look for classes that will challenge your body. Here are some excellent yoga styles to try.

    • Ashtanga
    • Power yoga
    • Vinyasa
    • Iyengar
    • Hatha
    • Yoga drills

    Yoga poses to build strength

    Here are just a few poses for you to try.

    You can increase the strength-building effects of these poses by holding them for longer periods of time or repeatedly moving in and out of them.

    Practicing sun salutations A and B will also assist you in getting stronger.

    Mental Strength

    Besides making you stronger physically, yoga helps you build mental strength. Every time you tackle a difficult pose, every time you fall and get back up and try again and every day you commit to taking some time to practice builds mental strength that helps you in your daily life off the mat. Yoga is more than a physical practice. It’s a spiritual practice that connects you to other beings and gives you a clear honest view of yourself. That’s the most profound benefit of yoga.

    Yes, regular practice will make your body stronger, but it will also make your mind and spirit stronger and more resilient. That is a wonderful reason to start a yoga practice.

    Watch the video with Kino below for a short strength-building yoga sequence you can try at home.

    If you’re interested in more yoga classes to make you stronger join Omstars to get access to our strength challenges and yoga drills classes.

  • How to Make Practicing Yoga Part of Your Daily Life

    I’ve practiced consistently 6 days a week for the past 6 months. I went from someone who hardly ever stepped on the mat to someone who makes time for practice every day. Here’s how I did it.

    Sometimes, even though you want to practice, you just don’t feel like it. It’s difficult to get out the yoga mat and even attempting a single sun salutation makes you feel tired. If you’ve experienced that, you’re not alone. I’ve been there too. You want to have a consistent yoga practice and start a yoga habit, but it’s hard.

    My practice hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows. After injuring my shoulder, I struggled to get back on my yoga mat. Practicing regularly was the last thing I wanted to do, but after an extended break I realized I missed it.

    Starting an old habit up again wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Even though I knew how good my yoga practice made me feel getting back into the yoga habit was difficult, but with a bit of time I figured out how to get myself back into the habit of practicing.

    I’ve practiced consistently 6 days a week for the past 6 months. I went from someone who hardly ever stepped on the mat to someone who makes time for practice every day.

    Let’s look at the crucial steps I took to having a consistent yoga practice.

    Put yoga on your daily calendar

    The first step is to pencil in your yoga practice into your day. Just like you would an important meeting or dinner with friends. If you don’t have a time for it, you won’t do it.

    I understand that some days are busier than others, but try to at least put aside 5 minutes for yourself. It doesn’t have to be a long, elaborate yoga practice. You can do just one sun salutation.

    5 minutes of practice is better than no practice at all. Even if it’s just standing in mountain pose for a few moments, breathing, and truly being present. The key is to show up for yourself every day.

    Some people like to practice first thing in the morning, but if that’s not possible for you, find a time that works in your schedule. If you have to practice at night, that’s totally fine too.

    The important thing is that you make it a priority and put it on your calendar. Once it’s on there, treat it like any other appointment you can’t miss.

    Make having a consistent yoga practice easy

    Make it easy for yourself to practice. This means removing any obstacles that might stand in your way.

    For me, that means making sure my yoga mat and props are visible. They sit in the corner of my office and everything I see them I remember I need to practice.

    You could set up your yoga space so it is inviting and comfortable. You could choose what you want to wear to practice the day before and make sure everything you need is in one place.

    If you’re practicing at home, take a few minutes to set up your space before you begin. If you’re going to the studio, make sure you have your yoga mat and any other props you might need.

    You don’t want to be fumbling around looking for things when you could be practicing. The easier you make it on yourself, the more likely you are to actually do it.

    Set a realistic goal

    If you’re just starting out, your goal might be to practice 20 minutes a day.

    If you’ve been practicing for a while, your goal might be to practice longer. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that you can actually commit to.

    Don’t set a goal that’s too lofty or unrealistic because you’ll only end up feeling bad when you don’t reach it. Just set a simple, attainable goal that you know you can commit to.

    Find a yoga class or group

    There’s nothing like being part of a community of people who are all committed to their yoga practice.

    If you can’t find a class or group where you live, there are plenty of online yoga classes you can join. Omstars has more than 4,000 on-demand classes and daily live classes you can practice with. No matter what type of yoga you’re interested in or what level you’re currently at, you’ll find something here to meet your needs.

    I love taking this yoga class on days I don’t feel like practicing.

    The important thing is to find something that works for you and that you enjoy. If you don’t like the class you’re in, or the video you’re following, you’re not going to want to practice.

    So find something that you like and that feels good for your body. Then stick with it.

    Remember why you want to have a consistent yoga practice

    What is it about yoga that drew you in?

    For me, it was the way I felt after I practiced. I feel calmer, more centered, and more present.

    I also love the physical challenge of yoga. It’s a way for me to connect with my body in a new way.

    Whatever your reasons are, make sure you keep them at the forefront of your mind. Because when the going gets tough (and it will), these are the things that will motivate you to keep practicing.

    Practice regularly

    The more you do it, the easier it will become. Eventually, you’ll get to the point where you won’t feel right if you don’t practice. Yoga will become such an important part of your day that skipping it won’t be an option for you. It will just be part of your daily routine – something you do without even thinking about it.

    But it all starts with taking that first step and making the commitment to practice regularly. So if you’re ready to make yoga part of your life, follow these steps and you’ll be on your way.

    By Lovelyn Bettison

    Lovelyn Bettison has been everything from a massage therapist to a life coach, but her life didn’t start falling into place until she decided to put all other pursuits aside and follow her childhood dream of being a writer. When she’s not doing copywriting for companies like Omstars, she writes scary stories about things that go bump in the dark. She also runs a pretty popular newsletter about all things spooky and supernatural. If you like that sort of thing, you really should click the link to download a free copy of her novella “A Haunting at Cabin Lake.”

    Click here to download your free novella.

    Photo by Julia Caesar on Unsplash

  • What is Yoga?

    Do you feel like you’re constantly under pressure? Are you struggling to find a way to relax and de-stress? If so, yoga may be the perfect solution for you! It’is a practice that has been around for centuries, and it offers a wide range of benefits for both the body and mind.

    One of the most common misconceptions about yoga is that it’s simply a form of exercise. While it’s true that it does involve physical movement, there’s much more to it than that. It is actually a holistic practice that can help to improve your overall health and wellbeing.

    What is the true origin of yoga?

    There is no one answer to this question, as yoga has been around for centuries and has been practiced in many different ways. However, the most common belief is that it originated in India over 5000 years ago. The word “yoga” itself comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj”, which means to unite or connect, and it is believed to be a way to connect the body, mind, and spirit.

    When you practice, you are working to unite all aspects of yourself. You are using your body to move and stretch, your mind to focus and concentrate, and your spirit to connect with something larger than yourself. It is a way to harmonize all aspects of yourself, and when you achieve this balance, it can lead to greater peace and happiness.

    What are the benefits?

    There are many benefits to be gained from a regular practice, including:

    – improved flexibility

    – increased strength and muscle tone

    – better circulation

    – reduced stress and anxiety

    – improved breathing capacity

    – enhanced focus and concentration

    – greater peace and calmness

    These are just a few of the many health benefits of yoga that scientists and individual practitioners have discovered.

    What are the different types of yoga?

    There are many different types, but here’s a list of some of the most common ones.

    Hatha Yoga

    Hatha yoga focuses on postures or “asanas”. The purpose of these postures is to align the body and mind and to promote relaxation.


    Vinyasa links breath with movement. This type of yoga is often referred to as “flow” yoga, because of the continuous flow from one pose to the next. Vinyasa yoga is a great workout, and it can also be very relaxing.


    Ashtanga is rigorous form and involves doing a set sequence of poses. It emphasizes the idea of using yoga as a form of moving meditation and a guide to your entire life, not just an exercise program. It may seem difficult at first, but there are modifications for all of the poses in Ashtanga to make the practice accessible to everyone who wants to practice.

    Bikram Yoga

    Bikram yoga is a type of hot yoga that is practiced in a room that is heated to approximately 105 degrees Fahrenheit. These classes follow a set sequence of strenuous poses. The temperature in the room makes you sweat to detoxify the body and make your muscles looser and easier to stretch.


    Iyengar emphasizes precision and alignment in the poses. Props like blocks, bolsters, and straps are often used in Iyengar classes to assist students with finding the proper alignment in poses. Iyengar yoga is a great choice for beginners, as the poses are generally simpler than in other forms.


    Kundalini yoga focuses on awakening the Kundalini energy that is said to be sleeping at the base of the spine. This is done through a series of repetitive movements and breathing exercises. Kundalini yoga is a great choice for beginners, as the poses are generally simpler than in other forms of yoga.


    Restorative focuses on relaxation and stress relief. Poses are generally gentle and supported by props like blankets and bolsters. It is a great choice for people who just want to calm their nerves and chill out.


    Yin yoga focuses on stretching the connective tissues around the joints. Poses are held for anywhere from one to five minutes. Bolsters, blocks, and blankets are used to help you relax into the poses and make them more comfortable.


    Power yoga emphasizes strength and stamina. Poses are often more physically demanding than in other forms of yoga, and the classes are usually faster-paced. Power yoga is a great workout if you want to focus on speeding up your heart rate and getting a good sweat during your practice.


    AcroYoga incorporates partner work and acrobatic elements. Poses are often done with the help of a partner, and they can be both physically and mentally challenging. AcroYoga is a great choice for people who want to add an element of fun and playfulness to their practice.

    No matter what type you choose, you are sure to benefit from the practice. Yoga can help to improve your flexibility, strength, stamina, and mental well-being.

    Yoga is a practice that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. Whether you’re looking to improve your physical health, mental well-being, or simply want to find a way to relax, yoga can help.

    So what are you waiting for? Start your yoga practice today. You can sign up for Omstars to get the expert guidance of some of the best yoga instructors teaching online today and start practicing at home.

    Join Omstars today and start your at-home yoga practice!

  • How to Start a Yoga Practice

    Your practice might begin on a yoga mat but undoubtedly will ripple into every other aspect of your life and every single interaction you come across.

    I was introduced to group yoga classes by a friend around 2003. The class was held at a local gym. I walked into the studio with the excitement of learning something new that I knew was supposed to be good for my body and mind. I still remember setting up my mat and being curious about how we were supposed to use it. Part of me felt like a kid with a new toy.

    Many thousands of teaching hours later, I feel reminiscent about those days. I didn’t know how important and meaningful the decision to take that yoga class and many others would be for my future, growth, and peace of mind. In fact, my whole life these days revolved around yoga.

    I would like to share with you what has helped me in the past to build a consistent yoga practice, and it is my hope you find this helpful.

    Which yoga style is best for me?

    You can be sure that there is a style of yoga that suits your needs. So it is important to ask yourself what is your first motivation for starting a yoga practice.

    Each of us is different, and there are many different styles of yoga. You can be sure that there is a style of yoga that will be the best one for you.

    You might not find the style of yoga that is best for you right away. You might have to do some exploring, whether in person or online.

    Some styles of yoga are slower and more nurturing and restorative. Other types of yoga are more active and endurance-building yet bring a sense of integration as well. Be patient, and the right style of yoga, and teacher will appear.

    How important is consistency in my practice?

    After your initial exploration of what your options are, I suggest you, at least for the first little while, stick with a particular style. See it unfold on your mat. There is beauty in repetition. There is beauty in consistency.

    You can see the changes in your mind and body when the movements and the pace of the practice are familiar. You will not only learn sequences, postures, and breathing exercises, but you will learn from the time spent with yourself. Our practice of yoga can be profoundly meditative.

    What should I expect from my yoga practice?

    We all are, in some ways, eternal perfectionists. There will be moments of great satisfaction from discovering the potential of the body in certain postures or the hidden secrets of the breath in certain exercises, but remember, this practice is a practice of coming back to ourselves for connection. It’s this connection that helps us to see the world through a different set of eyes.

    Be okay with the days you are full of energy and welcome the days where simply being on the mat and doing a less demanding practice can provide comfort and nurture your soul. Be okay when the practice feels flat. Be okay when the practice feels sparkly and full of life.

    The role of moderation in my yoga practice

    You probably heard before about doing everything in moderation. And yoga is not an exception. Be attentive to how your body feels after your practice, including the day after. Tune in to the wisdom of the body to know when a practice has been demanding, and you might need to balance it out with something more soothing.

    Yoga is not only the beautiful postures but also meditation, breathing, and self-study. Yoga can permeate every aspect of our lives, bringing a new sense of appreciation to the human experience.

    How do I find freedom in my yoga practice?

    It is important when you take the first steps, and you had made a connection with a particular approach of yoga and a knowledgeable teacher that you trust in that bond and connection. At the same time, give yourself the freedom to embody the movements, the postures, the breath in your own unique way.

    This is a practice of exploration, and it might look different for each one of us. As long as we enter this world with sincere intentions, the rewards are always sweet.

    Yoga is love

    One of the most important realizations in my years of practicing and teaching yoga is that yoga is an act of love. We feel this first hand in ourselves. Our relationship to our bodies improves by acceptance, understanding, and the time we spend with ourselves. Our understanding of our ups and downs becomes less of a roller coaster ride because we have a set of skills to help us ride the emotional waves.

    Your practice might begin on a yoga mat but undoubtedly will ripple into every other aspect of your life and every single interaction you come across. Yoga has the potential to make the world a better place by reminding us that our essence is love. When we are next to each other, whether online or in person, that recognition that we are both made of the same universal love speaks for itself.

    Enjoy your journey into yoga. For me, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I hope it is for you as well.

    By Adrian Molina

    Adrian Molina is the founder of Warrior Flow. With over 15,000 hours of classroom teaching experience, Adrian is renowned for the sophistication and depth of his teaching style and the degree of mindfulness, compassion and precision he brings to asana practice. He is also a writer, massage therapist, Thai Yoga Bodywork practitioner, Reiki master, and a Kriya Yoga meditation practitioner in the lineage of Paramahansa Yogananda.

    Image by NatureFriend from Pixabay 

  • Finding a Yoga Home

    I was thirty-one when I plucked up the courage to walk into a yoga class studio to take a class. Because I was nervous I went early. As soon as I walked into the room I regretted that decision.

    My grandmother threw open the curtains, letting the morning light flood into the room. “Good morning world,” she’d call, her voice a singsong. This is how every morning would start when we spent the night at my grandmother’s house. My sister and I, still in our pajamas, would sit on the baby blue carpet eager to follow her instructions.

    I did my first downward dog poses on that blue carpet. We giggled our way through sun salutations. At the time, yoga was that funny exercise my grandmother did and that we did too when we spent nights at her house during summer vacation. When I became a teenager morning yoga with my grandmother stopped. She couldn’t wake me up in the morning anymore when I went to see her in the summer. I’d slink from beneath the sheets in the late early afternoon hours and run off to the beach with my cousins.

    The practice didn’t call to me again until I was in my early twenties and happened upon a woman teaching yoga on television. The first time I saw her I sat on the sofa and watched the class. The rail-thin woman with long blonde hair moved fluidly through a sequence of poses. There was something fascinating about her movements. I remembered those mornings with my grandmother and decided it was time to try practicing yoga again.

    In those days the instruction I received for my practice was limited to books and DVDs from the library and any programs I might be able to catch on the exercise station on TV.

    I was thirty-one when I plucked up the courage to walk into a yoga class studio to take a class. Because I was nervous I went early. As soon as I walked into the room I regretted that decision. Everyone else had shown up early, and I was the only brown face among them.

    I found a place for my mat and anxiously waited for the class to start. As I did I watched the people around me. Immediately one thing became very apparent to me that I didn’t have the right clothes or the right body to do yoga in a yoga studio. I felt drab in my faded leggings and tank top. I wasn’t fancy enough or thin enough.

    I enjoyed doing the yoga class itself, but I didn’t enjoy it any more than I did at home. So, I decided that live-in-person yoga classes weren’t for me.

    Since then I’ve been to in-person yoga classes maybe three times. Each time I’ve felt equally uncomfortable. Honestly, I don’t know when or if I will ever go to an in-person yoga class again. Frankly, at this point in my life, I don’t much feel like I need to. I found my yoga home online.

    The Benefits of Online Yoga Classes

    Practicing yoga online gives me access to a more diverse group of yoga teachers that I would have never even heard of if it weren’t for the internet.

    There are many different types of yoga and sometimes it’s hard to find a class that fits your needs, especially if you’re a yoga beginner. Online classes offer a variety of teachers and styles so you can find the perfect one for you. They’re an excellent solution for people who live in rural areas or who don’t have time to go to a studio.

    Practicing yoga online allows you to go at your own pace. If you’re not comfortable doing a headstand in class, you don’t have to feel pressure to do one. You can take your time and work up to the more challenging poses. Yoga is all about self-acceptance and there’s no need to feel embarrassed if you can’t do a pose yet.

    Online yoga classes are affordable. Plus, you get unlimited access to all the classes so you can switch things up if you get bored.

    I’ve been practicing yoga for a long time now. The diversity of teachers and styles keeps things interesting, and the affordability is great. If you’re looking for a way to start your yoga journey, or if you just can’t find the right class for you, I recommend giving online yoga a try. You won’t be disappointed!

    By Lovelyn Bettison

    Lovelyn Bettison has been everything from a massage therapist to a life coach, but her life didn’t start falling into place until she decided to put all other pursuits aside and follow her childhood dream of being a writer. When she’s not doing copywriting for companies like Omstars, she writes scary stories about things that go bump in the dark. She also runs a pretty popular newsletter about all things spooky and supernatural. If you like that sort of thing, go to her website to download a free copy of her novella “A Haunting at Cabin Lake.

    Photo by Valentina Sotnikova on Unsplash

  • Find Out Why These Omstars Teachers Practice Yoga

    “I feel blessed every time I teach that I can be a conduit for the teachings of yoga. I can get out of the way knowing that any transformation that takes place is the grace that happens between the student and their practice.” – Anamargret Sanchez

    We do our best to gather the most amazing yoga teachers in the world to teach Omstars members. They are dedicated to the practice and have so much to share with you. Today we’ve asked Marie Belle Perez Rivera, Shawn J. Moore, Anamargret Sanchez, and Henry Winslow to share some of their yoga experiences. Keep reading to find out why they practice and what advice they have for new yoga students.

    Why do you practice?

    Shawn J. Moore

    I practice to be in alignment with Self. For me, practice is practical, spiritual, and developmental.

    Anamargret Sanchez

    To stay awake to Life.

    Marie Belle Perez Rivera

    I love the connection and processing

    Henry Winslow

    I practice to understand myself, and to realize the best possible version of myself in this lifetime.

    Why do you teach?

    Shawn J. Moore

    Representation matters. I teach so people that look like me know that these practices are for them and beneficial to them.

    Anamargret Sanchez

    Because I love to share the rich beauty of Yoga. And I feel blessed every time I teach that I can be a conduit for the teachings. I can get out of the way knowing that any transformation that takes place is the grace that happens between the student and their practice.

    Marie Belle Perez Rivera

    I love connecting with the community, learning from them, and sharing in the process

    Henry Winslow

    To help others do understand themselves and realize the best possible versions of themselves.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga student?

    Shawn J. Moore

    As a student – just sticking with the practice past some of the microagressions I experienced.

    Anamargret Sanchez

    When my intuition very strongly led me to my Himalayan Tantric lineage. I had never heard that inner voice speak so loudly or clearly.

    Marie Belle Perez Rivera

    The most inspirational moment I’ve experienced as a yoga student was finding my people, those willing to look at themselves, work with what is, and continue to do their work consistently, for a long period of time, with devotion.

    Henry Winslow

    In 2018 I won the World Yoga Asana Championships in Beijing, China. Plenty of people scoff at the idea of competitive yoga, and I think that’s totally fair. But I still point to my experience competing as both a major struggle and a major milestone because of the lessons I learned on stage. I competed for several years at the regional and even national level, and every time I would be well prepared and polished, only to stumble once it was my turn under the spotlight. The year that I progressed all the way to internationals and won first place was the year that I finally allowed myself to relax. I stopped trying to be the absolute best, and simply made my goal to do what was average for me. I’d always heard and understood intellectually that putting undue pressure on oneself wasn’t helpful, but the yoga championships ingrained this knowing in my physical body.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga teacher?

    Shawn J. Moore

    Inspiring my students at Morehouse College (I teach full-time) to get involved in meditation and yoga.

    Anamargret Sanchez

    I’ve had many. But the most recent one was when a student told me that her yoga practice brought her back to her spirituality. That made my heart soar.

    Marie Belle Perez Rivera

    I had an experience in DC once that really shook me to my core and grounded me at the same time. In the city, we are taught to lock all doors at the beginning of class. If someone is late, they can take the next class. For some reason, this day I didn’t lock the door. 10 minutes into class, I had 3 students run in and roll their mats out to practice. I was a bit confused and locked the door after them. Class went as planned. After class, the students stayed after to thank me for leaving the door unlocked. There had been a shooting outside and they ran for cover. Our door was the only one unlocked so they came in to practice. They thanked me for leaving the door unlocked, accepting them, and guiding them into stillness.

    Henry Winslow

    When studios shut down worldwide in response to COVID-19, I was surprised, impressed, and inspired by the yoga community’s adaptability. Studios, teachers, and students rallied, stumbled their way through standing up online classes, and continued to support each other when everyone needed it most.

    What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?

    Shawn J. Moore

    Approach the practice from a place of exploration.

    Anamargret Sanchez

    Student first. Teacher second. Consistent practice is key. Fill your toolbox. Be the light.

    Marie Belle Perez Rivera

    Practice, explore, listen to your intuition, remain grateful, curious, resilient

    Henry Winslow

    Never compare yourself to others — only to yourself, yesterday.

    By Omstars

    Sign up for an Omstars membership to take your yoga practice to the next level.

    Click here to start your 14-day free trial today!


  • Yoga Pose Tutorial: Janu Sirsasana A or Head-to-Knee Pose

    This week’s pose of the week is Janu Sirsasana “A” or Head-to-Knee Pose A.

    The FOCUS of head-to-knee pose is really the extension of the sternum toward the knee. You should try your best to get extension in the back and avoid rounding.

    Rotate your right hip joint externally, while pointing your knee out to the side at a 90-degree angle.

    Try to relax the hip joint so the ball and socket can open and release.

    The sole of your right foot is resting against your inner left thigh and the right heel rests close to the pubic bone.

    Constantly roll your upper thigh toward the back of your pelvis while elongating your inner thigh muscles. It sounds like a lot but really it is not.

    Once you have the external rotation of the right thigh, fold your pelvis as far forward as possible and align your torso OVER your left thigh.

    Your heart, sternum, and public bone should be aligned and centered toward the left knee.

    Reach your chin to your left shin and gaze toward the toes of your left foot.

    Kept the left leg engaged and active.

    Hold for five breaths and do the other side.

    Remember, never force a pose but advance your practice with effort and ease. Check out Kino’s YouTube on the pose. It is only 3:18 but will give you a deeper understanding of the asana.

    By Dr. Bruce E. Barkus

    Dr. Bruce E. Barkus came to yoga, like most people, to become more flexible, get stronger and reduce stress. Low and behold he fell in love with all the other benefits yoga provides. He has been very consistent with a daily practice for the last eleven years and has come to look at it as part of his daily routine. Bruce’s certifications are Yoga Alliance RYT 500 through Asheville Yoga Center and 500 hours of Ashtanga Training for teachers with Miami Life Center. He teaches Ashtanga at Level Yoga in Vero Beach Florida and at Asheville Yoga Center. Over time, his students started asking for more details on poses and the benefits of a daily practice, so he started doing the pose of the week. There have been many that have guided his yoga practice, including Kino MacGregor, Tim Feldmann, Doug Keller, David Keil, Manju Jois, Stephanie Keach, and Lewis Rothlein. The poses he shares are primarily from the Ashtanga Primary Series as he finds the basic postures build a solid foundation for all the advanced poses.

    Start your 14-day Free Trial with Omstars Today!

  • A Beginner’s Guide to Starting an At-Home Yoga Practice

    When you start your yoga journey, you’ll have difficulty getting into some poses. You’ll lose your balance and fall over. You won’t be as flexible or strong as you want to be. That is to be expected. Don’t beat yourself up. Yoga isn’t a contest to see who can get into the most challenging poses the fastest. It’s a journey of self-discovery.

    Yoga has entered the mainstream and many people around the world recognize the benefits it can have on both physical and mental health. If you are curious about yoga and interested in starting your practice at home, this guide is for you.

    Millions of people practice yoga at home every day. There are a variety of reasons to practice at home. Whether you’ve decided to practice yoga at home because you don’t have access to a yoga studio, don’t have the time or funds to attend a class, or simply feel uncomfortable trying something so new around others this post will give you the information you need to start a solid at-home practice.

    First, let’s start with the basics.

    What Is Yoga?

    Yoga is a practice that combines the inhalation and exhalation of breath with movement. It began in northern India more than 5000 years ago as a spiritual practice to train mind and body. It is a method to truly see yourself and by so doing truly see the world around you. The combination of breath and movement and meditation is used as a way to connect to higher consciousness.

    Today many ignore the spiritual aspects of yoga to focus on the physical. No matter what brings you to the practice know that as it becomes part of your life it will infuse itself in your day-to-day existence. You will not just see the physical benefits from your yoga practice but will also see mental benefits. Yoga is a journey and when you set your foot on the path you will not want to turn back.

    The Benefits of Yoga

    There are many benefits to starting a yoga practice. The physical benefits can be quite obvious. You need strength and flexibility to get into yoga poses and hold them. As you practice you will build strong lean muscles that will not only support you in your practice but decrease the risk of injury in your daily life. You will find that over time your flexibility will improve as well your balance.

    Besides the physical benefits of the practice, there are also mental benefits. Yoga can help you manage anxiety and change the way you respond to stressful situations. It can also ease chronic pain and help you get a better night’s sleep. Here’s a list of things yoga can help and links to studies about them for you to reference.

    These are just a few of the many benefits of practicing yoga.

    What You Need to Start Practicing Yoga

    Because we live in a consumer society there is an emphasis put on what people “need” to practice yoga. You could spend hundreds of dollars on yoga clothes, a mat, and all the accessories, but in reality, early practitioners had none of that. What they had was a dedication to the practice and an open mind and heart willing to learn. That is all you really need, but there are a few things most people practicing yoga in the modern age usually have.

    Yoga Mat

    When you practice you need a surface that you won’t slip on. That’s what a yoga mat does besides providing you with a little bit of cushion.

    Don’t get hung up on which yoga mat to buy. When you’re starting out, any will do.

    If you don’t have one you can use a small flat woven rug.

    The primary purpose of a mat is to help you be able to stay in positions like downward facing dog without slipping.

    Yoga Blocks

    Yoga blocks are useful to give you added support in some poses. If you don’t have yoga blocks you can use thick books in their place.

    Yoga Strap

    A yoga strap is also helpful but can easily be substituted with a belt or scarf.

    Yoga Clothes
    When you practice, be sure to wear clothes that allow you to move through your full range of motion. You do not want to feel restricted in any way while you are practicing.

    These yoga accessories can all be useful to have, but you don’t have to break the bank to get them. Stick to the most basic versions in the beginning. If you can’t get them all that doesn’t matter. What matters is having the desire to practice.

    How To Start Your Practice?

    When you’re first starting out it’s best to have some guidance. Online yoga classes have become an important tool for people looking to start practicing at home. Through the use of online yoga classes, you can learn from expert teachers from around the world. There are no limitations to the style of yoga you can learn.

    Joining an online yoga website like Omstars can give you access to thousands of classes and many different teachers who are eager to share the benefits of yoga with you.

    Below is an example of an online yoga class for beginners that you can use to get started.

    Tips to be successful at practicing yoga at home

    Now that you’re on your way to starting an at-home yoga practice here are some tips to keep you going.

    Set Aside Time to Practice

    Decide how often you want to practice. Maybe you only want to practice a few days a week. Maybe you only have a few minutes a day. It doesn’t matter if you have an hour or only 10 minutes, setting aside that little bit of time to do a few poses will help you get into the habit of practicing regularly.

    Listen to Your Body

    Many of us are used to ignoring the cues our body sends us. That is not something you want to do in yoga. Listen to your body. If you are experiencing pain or pinching back off. Always pay attention to what your body is telling you. Don’t push yourself too far. Yoga is not a contest to see who can get into the most difficult pose the fastest. Yoga is a journey of self-discovery. Self-discovery can only happens when you truly listen.

    Be Kind to Yourself

    When you start out, you’ll have difficulty getting into some poses. You’ll lose your balance and fall over. You won’t be as flexible as you want to be or as strong as you want to be. That is to be expected. Don’t beat yourself up if it’s difficult.

    Poses have modifications that you can use to make them more accessible to what your body can do at the moment. Over time as you practice what your body can do will change.

    Be kind to yourself in your practice. You’re not doing this to punish yourself. You’re doing this to learn, connect, and find a greater sense of well-being.

    As you move forward on your at-home yoga journey remember that you are not alone. There are many people practicing at home just like you. They use online yoga classes to help them at every step along the way. Here’s what one member of Omstars had to say about her membership.

    Omstars is an amazing tool and has been a huge help for me in developing a safe and insightful home practice as well as helping me continue my journey into the yogic state of mind, offering insight on anatomy and scripture that has been like having my very own satsang!

    If you’re interested in learning more about practicing yoga with the assistance of online teachers sign up to get a free beginners class class that will help you get started.

    Click here to get your free class!



    By Omstars

    Photo by kike vega on Unsplash